HomeAid Colorado Distributes 2.4M Baby Essentials
Friday, June 23 was the biggest day of the year for HomeAid Colorado. After a month-long online donation drive, HomeAid was able to purchase 1.4 million diapers and 1 million wipes. In a parking lot at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, over 250 energetic volunteers helped load the trucks of 41 service providers so they can distribute the essentials to thousands of families in their community for free. An additional 10 service providers received their donations at a partner warehouse in Loveland. “I am very thankful for the diapers and wipes ECPAC has been able to help me with,” said a diaper recipient from Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County. “It’s an ongoing expense that is needed for my baby but it is difficult to keep up with. Not having to constantly stress about needing to spend a chunk of money on diapers has helped tremendously!” To make the day even sweeter, day-of donations raised the total to 1,443,847 diapers and 1,028,767 wipes!
One in three U.S. families struggles to afford diapers. The pandemic’s impact on American job security, increased cost of living, and growing inflation have only exacerbated this need as diaper banks struggle to keep up. Over 38% of Colorado infants and toddlers don’t have access to clean diapers. The demand for diapers increased by as much as 300% during the pandemic but there are still no state or federal programs that cover the cost of diapers. It costs about $1,000 per year to buy a supply of average-priced diapers for one child. For someone who works a full-time minimum-wage job, making just over $15,000 a year, that’s a huge expense. When a caregiver can’t afford diapers, children are sitting in unsanitary conditions for extended periods of time – placing children at a higher risk of infection and emotional trauma. It can also negatively affect the mental and emotional health of parents, leading to difficulty in coping with stress, depression, and trauma.
Like many mothers across Colorado, Sarah is a working mom with a nine-month-old daughter. Sarah is able to get food and diapers at the Food Bank of Larimer Country’s Fresh Food Share Pantry in Fort Collins. “A lot of it has helped with my daughter’s diapers and wipes, those are pretty expensive,” Sarah said. “I kind of was down on my luck and just having a little bit of a life change, so just having this assistance to like kind of tide me over has helped a lot….” She estimated that the items she picks up save her “a couple of hundred dollars” a month, which helps to supplement what she’s getting from her SNAP benefits — which, she added, don’t cover the cost of diapers and wipes.
For 10 years Builders for Babies supporters and volunteers have donated their time and resources to make this event possible. In one morning, over 2.4 million baby essentials are distributed to help thousands of babies across Colorado. The drive has grown so large, care providers are now able to request diapers in the sizes they need most. “For the sixth year, you brought Christmas in June to the Rocky Mountain Diaper Depot and all the participating service organizations,” said Joan Youmans of Rocky Mountain Diaper Depot. “There is nothing in Colorado that compares to what HomeAid Colorado is doing for the families and their babies that receive the diapers and baby wipes. Your Builders for Babies Event serves as a model for many other organizations on what can be done if we all come together to fill a need in our Colorado Community. You all motivate us at RMDD to do even more for the 22 Partner Agencies we help.”